|Deepak Punia Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 8 in|
|Date of Birth||May 19, 1999|
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
Deepak Punia is an Indian freestyle wrestler who won the ‘Gold’ medal at the 2019 Tallinn World Junior Wrestling Championships in the 86 kg weight class, the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games (86 Kg), the 2016 Tbilisi World Cadet Championships (85 kg), and the 2018 New Delhi Asian Junior Wrestling Championship (86 kg). He clinched the ‘Silver’ medal at the 2019 Nur-Sultan World Wrestling Championships, the 2018 Trnava World Junior Wrestling Championships, the 2022 Ulaanbaatar Asian Wrestling Championships, and the 2021 Almaty Asian Wrestling Championships – all in the 86 kg weight class. He secured the ‘Bronze’ medal at the 2019 Xi’an Asian Wrestling Championships (86 kg), the 2020 New Delhi Asian Wrestling Championships (86 kg), and the 2022 Istanbul Yasar Dogu Tournament (92 kg). For his services to wrestling, the Government of India honored him with the Arjuna Award (the 2nd-highest sporting honor in India) in 2021.
Chhara, Bahadurgarh, Jhajjar, Haryana, India
New Delhi, India
- Father – Subhash Punia (Milkman)
- Mother – Krishna Punia
He has been represented by Anish Bidyarthy, Anglian Medal Hunt Company (AMHC), Athlete Management and Consultancy Firm, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
5 ft 8 in or 173 cm
86 kg or 189.5 lbs
Race / Ethnicity
- Toned physique
- Short-cropped, tousled hair
- Sports a thin beard
- Affable smile
Deepak Punia Facts
- When Deepak won the ‘Gold’ medal at the 2019 Tallinn World Junior Wrestling Championships in the 86 kg weight class, he became the first Indian to win a ‘Gold’ medal at the event since 2001.
- In December 2019, he was named the ‘Junior Wrestler of the Year’ by United World Westling, the international governing body for the sport of amateur wrestling.
- In October 2020, Forbes magazine included him in its ’30 Under 30 – Asia’ list in the ‘Entertainment and Sports’ category.
- His ‘Silver’ medal (he was forced to forfeit the final due to an ankle injury) at the 2019 Nur-Sultan World Wrestling Championships in the 86 kg weight class helped him qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics (held in July and August 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
- He was left heartbroken at those Olympics as the ‘Bronze’ medal eluded him by just a whisker. He lost his ‘Bronze’ medal match 4-2 on points and finished 5th overall in his weight class. The date of that painful near-miss was August 5, 2021.
- Exactly one year later, on August 5, 2022, Deepak laid those demons to rest by winning the ‘Gold’ medal at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games (86 Kg). He later admitted in an interview that he was burdened by the bitter memories of that date which had made him quite nervous during his semi-final and final bouts.
- Besides his stellar wrestling career, he has served in the Indian Army as a ‘Junior Commissioned Officer’ (JCO), a term used for a group of military personnel ranked higher than ‘Havildar’ (equivalent to sergeant) and lower than ‘Lieutenant’ (a commissioned officer rank in the armed forces of many nations).
- As of August 2022, he had held the rank of ‘Naib Subedar’, the lowest of the 3 JCO ranks in the Indian Army (the ranks from highest to lowest being ‘Subedar Major’/’Risaldar Major’, ‘Subedar/Risaldar’, and ‘Naib Subedar’/’Naib Risaldar’).
Featured Image by Deepak Punia / Instagram